Steelcitygrit [in exile]

Ruminating on all things Canadian and political.


Sunday, October 15, 2006

debate notes - Dion is angry, etc.

Dion demonstrated today two tendencies that have quietly underrode his candidacy from the beginning.

Firstly, amongst the top 4, he is the business candidate. This is something he's made no secret about; ask him what is the most important aspect of his campaign and he will always indicate the economy. Any suggestion of new money from any of the other candidates always rises his ire. I think some people support him for precisely this reason, but I also think this tendency has simply been missed by many.

Secondly, he is a sallow apologist for the most recent Liberal governments. His Environmental exchange was a small, petty, angry defence of his mediocre record. This is inexcusable. I've made the point before - now is for renewal, not deference to past 'accomplishments'. If our message next election is that we need no new measures for the environment, that we did everything right, and that we have only Canadians to blame because they cut our tenure short - then we will get laughed off the ballot.

In fact, let's leave politics alone. If we can't do better than we did controlling emissions, then life on this earth is doomed. Ignatieff-esque oratory melodrama? Perhaps, but true nonetheless.

His exchange was just extraordinarily thoughtless. His critique of Ignatieff's sustainability framework, against which all legislation will be measured, was that we don't need an act, we just need leadership. He presents this approacch simulatenously with why this approach doesn't work. If everything hinges on leadership, then Stephen Harper can come along and scupper all of Dion's hard work - as Dion so often indicates. Were an act in place, any leader could be brought to account. None could choose to ignore a fundamental commitment to sustainability. I just wish Ignatieff had pointed out this weak-as-water reason.

And has his English gotten worse? It never used to bother me.

The only positive was his closing statement, during which he delivered a few sweet spanks.

On the record - Kennedy is my clear second choice. I still don't like the "enterprise/new liberalism" meaninglessness, but he looked smart, comfortable, and self-assured. I wish I could've listened to his French, instead of a CPAC translater who sounded like he was dying.

Bob Rae reminded us that he helped bring down Joe Clark and usher in the all-imporant 1980 Trudeau government. He failed to mention the relationship he had with Trudeau: the cynicism, the philosophical opposition, the political problem-causing, the mutual detestation. I know he was largely joking, but the truth is he has quietly assumed some Trudeauvian credit for political expediency and it makes me see red.

"We one four straight." - Dryden. Very sweet.

Ignatieff has an ability to connect any question at all with Canada's greatness and our patriotic duty to build civic sharing, to breath the free air, and to achieve our potential as human stewards of the planet Earth.


Blogger Clear Grit said...

I disagree on Dion. Someone has to defend previous Liberal governments. We can't win an election by saying, "We sucked." Why in gods name would anyone vote Liberal if the Liberal leader refuses to acknowledge what the Liberal party has done for the country?

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, clearly Dion won. You must just be upset about it.

He would rip Harpers head off.

4:16 PM  
Blogger SteelCityGrit said...

An election is a time to tow the party line. A leadership convention is a time to be self-critical, so we are a stronger party. Why would anyone who didn't vote liberal in '06 vote Liberal in '07 if present ourselves precisely the same?

Anon - that's actually not an argument. Clearly you're just upset because I blew your candidate's argument out of the water, and I'm nobody.

4:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dion had to do what he exactly did today to make himself perceived as a viable second alternative to Iggy. Otherwise he would be finished. So props for Dion for doing it effectively (although he came across as a little too angry at certain points for my taste)

However, the biggest thing I took away from the debate was not one single candidate was able to knock out Iggy given the rough week he had. On top of that, Iggy didnt make any mistakes (for once).

The debate was entertaining, but it’s very irrelevant in the grand scheme of things (Except for Dion's proper performance to help sell his proposition as a viable alternative)

Rae had his zinger but that was it.

I think Kennedy did an excellent job and is definitely future PM material. (Not just now)

The one thing I don’t like about Dion was his consistent blabbering about Chrétien. It may score points with the party establishment, but it’s a sure way of giving Harper his majority next election. Telling the Canadian public you were proud of an administration and establishment that is associated with the sponsorship scandal is hardly a selling point.

5:00 PM  
Anonymous burlivespipe said...

Kind of agree on your assessment of Dion, tho i think the continued spunkiness is certainly giving him some street cred. It's obvious that, sitting fourth, he feels the pressure. But he did sound a little pedantic when he was shouting that childish demand to your guy.
That Rae and Trudeau didn't have a peaceful existence -- that's a bad thing? He wasn't suggesting that he and Peterson, whom he mentioned, were best buddies, either... Unless he was meaning Oscar. Rae had more than one line. He missed a few opportunities, too.
But that you and Cherniak continue to ignore all the ideas he's been plowing out -- environment, education, foreign affairs, economy etc -- then I guess we have to check the quality of the crack you've been smoking.
But of course, you were a big fan of (vietnam war-supporting) Goldwater, right?

7:34 PM  
Blogger Sholdice said...

Iggy is a dead man walking. Rae is also toast (see BC fiasco).

The real race here is Kennedy-Dion.

9:35 PM  
Blogger SteelCityGrit said...

This was a post about a debate that happened yesterday. Where exactly did Rae plow out ideas about environment, education, foreign affairs, economy during yesterday's debate? The only thing he addressed even briefly was foreign affairs, and "we need to advance Canadian values" isn't an idea, it's a general sentiment.

Anyways - I'd be happy to evaluate Rae's ideas, but he's the one telling me that that's not the point. He delivered the "it's not ideas, it's the man himself" line to me personally. I'm obliging your candidate.

The Goldwater comment is mostly stupid (although given foreign policy hysteria, Rae may be nigh to a "Daisy" commercial of his own).

7:21 AM  
Blogger Herb said...

I agree on Dion. I was in the hall on Sunday, and he came off to me as almost unhinged.

For good measure, he doesn't seem to understand that the Liberals lost the last election for a reason. Who's he going to start yelling at next -- the voters, for being ungrateful pricks? Yeah, that'll work.

Kennedy's French remains his fatal flaw. His backers are engaging in pure wishful thinking if they belive it's getting better.

8:57 AM  

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